The term “choke point” as it relates to business processes is discussed in the book “Getting Unstuck: Break Free of The Plateau Effect” written by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson (a great book by the way that I highly recommend). The term refers to those points in a system or process, that when broken or “clogged” with delayed action (or complete inaction), cause the whole system or process to come to a screeching halt (or to a trickle of activity, at best).
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Ineffective managers often cause choke points in a process by micromanaging the details and not allowing their team members to be fully empowered to complete the task or process themselves (e.g., reviewing every tiny decision or putting others on hold while they deliberate on something that someone else could very easily have reached an acceptable decision on). What CHOKE POINTS might YOU be causing for your team or department? Are things piling up or otherwise backing up … waiting on YOU to take some kind of action? Consider the things in front of you right now (that you’re about to spend some time on); step back and take a view of things you plan to spend time on the rest of the day today and tomorrow. Do any of those activities run the risk of creating choke points that COULD BE avoided? What things can you release or get rid of … or delegate to someone else to take care of who could push it forward QUICKER or more efficiently? Identify ONE CHOKE point in your daily routine or weekly routine and find a way to ELIMINATE IT. Stay alert for other choke points as you plan your week and go about your daily routine. Minimize (or eliminate) as many as possible and note how much quicker things get done. You’ll also free up chunks of YOUR TIME that you can devote to HIGHER VALUE activities.
Quote of the Day ….
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”- Alan Alda
Best to you!
Andy Robinson, Executive Coach
"Helping CEO's and executives maximize their influence and impact."